Hsieh promotes constitution idea to US academics

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 - Page 3

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday told US academics that his “constitutions with different interpretations” (憲法各表) initiative for achieving a consensus across the Taiwan Strait is better than the so-called “1992 consensus” because it is pragmatic and reflects the reality of the “status quo.”

Hsieh, who is visiting Washington, made the comments in his meeting with former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman Richard Bush, former US National Security Council official Kenneth Lieberthal — who was council member during former US president Bill Clinton’s administration — and former council official Jeffrey Bader from the Brookings Institution, a press release issued by Hsieh’s office showed.

The “constitutions with different interpretations” initiative accurately depicts the “status quo” and highlights the special relationship between Taiwan and China as stipulated by each other’s constitutions, Hsieh told the former US officials.

By contrast, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 1992 consensus suggests that the Chinese government is illegitimate and refuses to recognize China’s sovereignty, “which does not face up reality,” the former premier said.

Though President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has reiterated that “one China” referred to the Republic of China, the international community still recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the sole representative of the Chinese people, Hsieh said.

Hsieh also touched on Taiwan’s security issues, saying that consolidation, a strong will for self-defense, the support of its allies and the avoidance of cross-strait conflicts are four essential factors in the nation’s security, the press release said.

“If China keeps squeezing Taiwan’s international space, it will eventually create enough momentum for the desire for new constitution to emerge in Taiwan. China will have no one but itself to blame when that day comes,” Hsieh was quoted as saying.